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White Mountain National Forest
White Mountain National Forest
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The White Mountain National Forest Destination is found in the northern region of New Hampshire, containing cities such as Littleton, Greensboro, Gorham, and Lyndon. Many of the land features that characterize the destination are mountain ranges including Crawford Notch State Park, Mount Washington State Park, and, of course, the White Mountain National Forest. Each of these state parks provides similar activities for visitors, especially those who would prefer to spend time outdoors, as they can hike the trails that stretch through the mountains or view the wildlife that roams the area. During the winter, Crawford Notch State Park allows people to go snowshoeing and skiing on the trails.[6] The national forests of the area still functioned as tourist attractions back in the 1800s.[3] The climate for the White Mountain National Forest Destination can be described as cold and temperate. The average temperature is around 79 degrees Fahrenheit with the average low falling to 3 degrees. [5]

What White Mountain National Forest is known for

Located in the northern region of New Hampshire is the White Mountain National Forest Destination. The region covers a relatively wide expanse of land including the White Mountains themselves extending to a total area of 750,852 acres. A relatively smaller portion of the area, more precisely 5.65% of the mountain range, is in the neighboring state in the east, Maine.[2] Due to the appearance of snow on the highest peaks of the mountain range, the area was given the name White Mountain National Forest in 1524 by an explorer.[1] The White Mountain National Forest Destination is located in New England, an area that is comprised of six states in total: Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.[4]

Many of those who visit the White Mountains engage in outdoor recreation including hiking, camping, and skiing. Approximately 1,200 miles of hiking trails extend throughout the mountains, in addition to 400 miles of snowmobile trails and 160 miles of Appalachian trails. For visitors to the area who plan on camping, nearly 23 developed campgrounds can be found throughout the White Mountain National Forest Destination. During the winter, ski tours can be provided in six designated areas of the national forest, and four alpine ski areas are also available.[7]

One particular draw for tourism in the White Mountain National Forest Destination is Crawford Notch State Park. The state park has been found to be popular among those who are interested in spending time outdoors due to an abundance of outdoor recreation that is available including activities such as camping, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and visiting the historic sites, to name a few. Nearly 5,775 acres make up the park, characterized mainly by waterfalls, walking trails, and mountain views, in addition to the wildlife that roams the area. The park is pet friendly, so long as the pet is leashed at all times.[6]

Another relatively popular state park in the White Mountain National Forest Destination is Mount Washington State Park, which is a part of the namesake of the destination, the White Mountain National Forest. Covering about 60.3 acres of land, Mount Washington State Park is perched on the summit of Northeast’s highest peak. There, visitors can engage in outdoor activities similar to the other state parks and national forests in the region, such as hiking and wildlife viewing. At the top of Mount Washington, a visitors center known as The Sherman Adams Visitor Center can be found in the Sherman Adams building, as well as a cafeteria, restrooms, gift shops, and the Mount Washington Observatory and its museum.[8]

Littleton, a town in the White Mountain National Forest Destination, is where tourists can explore a diversity of local shops, antique stores, and art galleries along the main street. For younger visitors, a toy store called Little Village Toy and Bookshop can be found within the town of Littleton. Furthermore, golfing is an activity that visitors can participate in at Maplewood Country Club and Resort in Littleton.[9]


The wooded portions found in the lower elevations of the White Mountain National Forest contain much of the mountain range's history. Some of the evidence of this history can be seen through the old foundations, former logging camps, or railroad beds where tracks had been laid. Native American tribes inhabited the lands prior to when the area was colonized in the 1600s. A few generally predominant features of the higher elevations are spruce trees, pine trees, and hemlocks, and the terrain is relatively rugged in these particular elevations.[3]

A cold and temperate climate affects the surrounding areas of the White Mountain National Forest Destination in cities such as Gorham, Littleton, and Lyndon. On average, Littleton receives 38 inches of rain, and 81 inches of snow annually; however sunny days, which occur approximately 194 days of the year, barely make up the majority as 162 days receive some type of precipitation. Generally, humidity in Littleton is fairly low; though the summer season may have a few days that are relatively more humid than others. July typically has the highest temperatures that reach 79 degrees Fahrenheit, in contrast to the winter’s lowest temperatures in January, which rest near 3 degrees Fahrenheit.[5]

Much of the wildlife that inhabits the White Mountains are moose, whitetail deer, and ruffed grouse, all of which are considered hunting game. Birds of almost 200 different species reside in the land, with the top priority species of conservation being the Bicknell's Thrush. A portion of the land is provided specifically for federally listed threatened or endangered species of plants and animals, with the intention to secure these particular species.[7]


In the late 1800s, the White Mountain National Forest was a heavily logged area, mainly providing timber and land for wildlife to reside; though, the national forest still functioned as a tourist area and vacation spot. Eventually, in 1914 the White Mountain National Forest was established after events led to the clearing of the land through erosion and fire damage, which was caused by the extensive timber harvest. The Weeks Act was passed as visitors and locals were concerned about how the land was being cleared. At the time when the national forest was established, nearly 7,000 acres were purchased for thirteen dollars per acre.[3]

In the 1850s, Littleton functioned as a terminus for rail travel that led to the mountains. This caused a greater number of hotels to open up in the surrounding area as more travelers were coming to New Hampshire. One of the first “railroad hotels,” Thayers Hotel, was built during this time and was made specifically for the new travelers. At the time, the hotels were being supplied by Littleton merchants, while being staffed by local workers in Littleton.[10]

Littleton’s history plays a prominent role in the town’s culture especially due to the fact that it is in close proximity to the White Mountain National Forest, which would draw in a fair amount of artists, writers, and poets who took interest in the landscape. Some artists who had discovered the area were Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The White Mountains were depicted and described as “forbidding, yet magnetic in their rustic allure” by famed artists who came from the Hudson River School. Other artists include Thomas Cole, Asher Brown Durand, Frederick Church, and Thomas Hill. As these artists visited the area to produce their art of the White Mountains, it aided in the advertisement for the remote location.[10]

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RiverWood Inn

Jackson, New Hampshire

RiverWood Inn

Riverwood Inn is located in Jackson, New Hampshire, and can be found right next to the Ellis River. Along with the 12 total rooms that guests can choose from, the inn offers a number of packages that can be added to reservations to help make the trip more memorable. Each room offers different things like private jacuzzies or private balconies, so the owners recommend reading about the other rooms before making reservations. Riverwood Inn is open year-round, with its busiest season being in the fall, specifically the months of September, October, and November. The inn is close to the Wentworth Golf Club, as well as a theme park called Story Land, to name a few local attractions, though the property is set in a more rural area and is much closer to nature.

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Located in the small town of Lincoln, New Hampshire, the Profile Motel and Cottages is just minutes away from the White Mountain National Forest. The motel has nineteen guest accommodations, including single-room cottages, motel-style rooms, and rental houses. The property sits on five acres of land with many trees and a large grassy common area. Guests can swim in the heated pool, play horseshoes, volleyball, or badminton on the property. There is also a large communal firepit. Every guest accommodation has a private parking area for multiple vehicles. The original Hansen Farm House, built in 1850, is one of the guest rental options on the property and has been recently renovated. The Profile Motel and Cottages is open from May 1st to October 15th and is owned by carpenter Jim and his son Matthew. 

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